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RHYMES AND REASONS
An Audience of One
An Olympic ice skater grieves her mother's death

by Greg Asimakoupoulos
February 26, 2010

She got the unexpected news.
Her precious mum was dead.
Olympic hopes and wide-eyed dreams
became nightmarish dread.

What should she do? Drop out? Go home?
There's no way she could skate.
To take the ice would be so cold.
It would be a mistake.

Or would that be the greatest gift
a mother could receive
from one she taught to give her all
when prone to quit or grieve?

So skate she did (with broken heart)
before a nervous crowd
who held their breath (with fingers crossed)
for one who cried out loud.

She faced the music all alone
in spite of full house
who saw her face and cheered her on
while quiet as a mouse.

It was Joannie's finest hour
though weak, in-shock and numb.
Her dance on ice was for her mum...
an audience of one.

Can't we relate when life is hard,
when ice we skate is thin?
When we're alone, afraid or lost
and want to cash it in?

In times like that it makes much sense
(although it may seem odd)
to block out those "up in the stands"
and focus just on God.

Just think of it. He sees our need
and knows why we feel done.
So we can "skate" for Him alone...
our audience of One.

* Figure skater Joannie Rochette was born in Montréal, Québec, and raised in Île Dupas. On February 21, 2010, two days before the beginning of the ladies event at the 2010 Winter Olympics, her mother, best friend and most ardent supporter died unexpectedly of a heart attack while in Vancouver to watch her daughter. Despite the loss Joannie continued in her commitment to compete. In the Olympic short program, Rochette recorded a personal best of 71.36, the third highest score of the night. In the finals, she took third place and a bronze medal. Truly an inspirational story.

 




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